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Clin Psychol Rev. 2003 Mar;23(2):319-37.

Readiness for anger management: clinical and theoretical issues.

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School of Psychology, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5067, Australia.


Anger management methods are a common and successful feature of contemporary cognitive behavioral therapy. Meta-analyses and narrative reviews of the outcome of anger management have been broadly supportive of the view that it is an effective approach. We argue in this paper that an important impediment to the future success of anger management is the failure to fully address the issue of treatment readiness. We discuss distinctive features of anger that make readiness a more important issue than it is for other problem emotions and affects. Relevant theoretical models of readiness are discussed and we review the components of a lack of readiness, including difficulties in establishing a therapeutic alliance. Progress in this area requires greater attention to the measurement and analysis of readiness, to its inclusion as an independent variable in outcome studies and to its clinical modification when readiness is low.

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